Drug and Alcohol Detox Guide For Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Oak Creek is a thriving city located just south of Milwaukee. Officially incorporated in 1950, Oak Creek shares a border with the city of Milwaukee and is a major economic hub for Milwaukee County. In recent years, major companies like Amazon and IKEA have invested heavily in the city, helping to bolster the local population and improve job growth in the area. In addition to its economic strength, the city of Oak Creek is also known for its many beautiful nature parks and pristine coastline along Lake Michigan.
Oak Creek saw rapid growth and expansion throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, though the population has remained relatively constant over the past decade. Currently, the city boasts a population of 36,087, many of whom have higher incomes than Wisconsinites in surrounding cities. As of 2022, the median household income in Oak Creek was $86,408, which far outpaces the state average of $72,458. Similarly, the percentage of residents living at or below the poverty line in Oak Creek is just 4.7%, compared to 10.7% in the rest of Wisconsin. 
However, everything in Oak Creek is not as bright and happy as it may seem at first glance. In hundreds of homes across the city, people are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Fortunately, with clinics like Midwest Detox nearby, Oak Creek residents can begin their recovery journey with the assistance of trained professionals. This way, they have a much better chance of getting sober and staying sober for good.
If you or a loved one live in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you should consider seeking out professional help as soon as possible. It could mean the difference between life and death. That said, we understand that starting the recovery process is not always easy.
Continue reading to learn more about the current substance abuse crisis in Oak Creek, and the resources available to help residents fight addiction.
The Ongoing Substance Abuse Crisis in Oak Creek
The population of Oak Creek nearly doubled between 1990 and 2010, but in the years since, the city has only seen a total growth rate of about 5.8%, or 0.48% annually. However, even this small growth rate is important to consider when looking at Milwaukee County as a whole. The greater Milwaukee area has seen a decline in its population, which now rests at 918,661. This may sound high, but the county had over 1 million residents at its peak in the 1970s.
In any case, the comparison between these two populations is important because all of Oak Creek’s substance abuse data is collected at the county level. This means that the individual substance abuse cases that occur in Oak Creek are lumped together with the cases that occur in Milwaukee and other nearby municipalities like Greendale and West Allis.
Nonetheless, evaluating the state of drug and alcohol abuse in the region still gives us a glimpse into Oak Creek’s ongoing crisis. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the number of deaths caused by alcohol abuse continues to rise each year in Milwaukee County. In fact, the death toll rose by nearly 80% over the course of 8 years.   You can see a full breakdown of these statistics in the table below:
|Alcohol Statistics in Milwaukee County
|Emergency Room Visits
The table above shows that there is a disconnect between the number of people in Milwaukee County reaching out for help with alcohol abuse, and the people actually dying as a result of alcohol abuse. Between 2014 and 2018, the number of alcohol-attributable emergency room visits grew tremendously, though this figure has substantially declined since then. The rate of inpatient hospitalizations involving alcohol has followed a similar trajectory. The number of hospitalizations increased between 2014 and 2018 (albeit at a slower rate) and then began to decline in the years since.
It’s unclear how or why Milwaukee County experienced this trend, particularly since most other counties in Wisconsin have seen rising case numbers that peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic. What is clear is that the number of deaths caused by alcohol has risen at an alarming rate, without showing any signs of slowing down. The relationship between cases of alcohol abuse treatment and deaths may indicate that fewer people are seeking out treatment, resulting in higher annual death rates.
Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in Oak Creek and the rest of Milwaukee County, but opioids are not far behind. Between 2014 and 2022, the number of opioid-attributable deaths in Milwaukee County rose from 212 to 522. The latest figures are still unknown, but based on the data we do have, opioid deaths are expected to be near 600 in 2023.   You can see the annual figures for opioid abuse in Milwaukee County in the table below:
|Opioid Statistics in Milwaukee County
|Emergency Room Visits
It’s easy to see that opioid deaths have been on the rise, with the highest number of deaths occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a trend that has been seen all across the country, but much like the data we’ve seen related to alcohol abuse in Milwaukee County, treatment statistics have been more difficult to interpret.
Between 2014 and 2022, opioid-attributable emergency room visits did increase, but they have been in decline since a peak in 2017. This suggests that more people are experiencing sudden opioid overdoses, but perhaps overdoses are in decline thanks to local measures to distribute Narcan kits. At the same time, inpatient hospitalizations have been steadily declining over the past decade. This may suggest that fewer people are actively seeking out treatment and rehab, which would also explain the increased prevalence of opioid deaths.
Alcohol and opioids are the two substances that are the most abused and perhaps the most dangerous in Oak Creek and the rest of Milwaukee County. However, like many other large counties in Wisconsin, Milwaukee County sees abuse of a wide range of drugs, both legal and illicit. Cocaine is among the worst offenders in the region. In fact, Milwaukee County has the highest rate of cocaine deaths in the state of Wisconsin. 
So what does all of this mean for the relatively small city of Oak Creek? As previously mentioned, Oak Creek only accounts for a small portion of Milwaukee County. More specifically, Oak Creek’s population is just under 4% of the total county population. However, with the county population in decline and the city population growing slowly, Oak Creek will make up a larger portion of the county in the years to come. In any case, it is estimated that about 6% of all of Milwaukee County’s substance abuse cases originate in the city of Oak Creek.
How Oak Creek Compares to the Rest of Wisconsin
Oak Creek has a relatively small dataset that’s difficult to compare to the rest of the state. The entirety of Milwaukee County, on the other hand, is one of the worst areas in Wisconsin for substance abuse. Wisconsin is already one of the worst states in the country for alcohol abuse, with roughly 1 in 4 adults binge drinking regularly.  Milwaukee contributes a particularly high percentage of substance abuse cases compared to the rest of the state. In fact, it has the highest rates of deaths caused by opioids, alcohol, and cocaine of any county in Wisconsin. Milwaukee County records 38% more opioid deaths than the state average, and 36% more alcohol deaths.
Naturally, all of this data may lead one to assume that Oak Creek is one of the worst places in Wisconsin for substance abuse. While this would be a bit of an exaggeration, it wouldn’t be too far from the truth. The reality is that, taking its small population into consideration, Oak Creek sees a very high number of overdoses and substance abuse-related deaths each year. To get a more accurate picture of the direct impact of substance abuse at the city level, let’s look at some of the most recent findings related to overdoses and deaths in Oak Creek, Wisconsin:
- Annual Overdoses: 124
- Alcohol-Related Deaths: 43
- Opioid-Related Deaths: 28
- Non-Opioid Drug-Related Deaths: 3
Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Efforts in Oak Creek
While Oak Creek has plenty of resources and wellness programs for its residents, it relies more heavily on punitive measures to manage substance abuse. This means that the police department is involved in most cases, even when no crimes have been committed. To help those who are struggling with substance abuse seek out treatment, Oak Creek depends more on county and state-level programs.
Milwaukee County offers several addiction treatment resources via the Community Access to Recovery Services (CARS). As a complement to these city and county programs, Wisconsin runs the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA), which manages dozens of programs and initiatives across the state. Oak Creek residents seek out help from detox clinics like Midwest Detox, as well as quality inpatient rehab clinics like Wellbrook Recovery.
Drug and Alcohol Detox in Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Oak Creek is a beautiful city with a thriving economy, but that hasn’t stopped substance abuse and addiction from destroying hundreds of lives in the area every single year. While there are many county and state-level resources to help those in need, the statistics show that these efforts are simply not enough. Without additional help, more residents of Oak Creek will continue to die as a result of substance abuse.
Fortunately, there is help close by. Midwest Detox is a private detox clinic located in Brookfield, just a 30-minute drive from Oak Creek. At Midwest Detox, we offer the best possible care in our state-of-the-art facilities to ensure that you can cleanse your body in a safe, comfortable, and discreet environment. Our trained staff are ready to help you navigate the early stages of your recovery and teach you the skills you need to continue the next steps in your journey.
When it comes to addiction, there is no time like the present. So, if you or someone you love is in need of drug or alcohol detox, reach out to Midwest Detox today and begin your journey to recovery.